The Noise in My Mind

An exciting and inspiring future awaits you beyond the noise in your mind, beyond the guilt, doubt, fear, shame, insecurity and heaviness of the past you carry around. – Debbie Ford

The noise in your mind…such an interesting phrase but totally accurate. At least it seems to be accurate for me. All the men that have been in my life either haven’t had the noise in their minds or ignored it, for it seems like they had the ability to do whatever it was they felt like doing, whenever they felt like doing it, and had no regard for what anyone else thought about it. They didn’t seem to have any guilt or fear. If it was what they wanted, they would have it. If they didn’t like it they said so. They never expressed guilt about their actions to me, and I always felt jealous that men could be like this and I could not.

I have always had the guilt and insecurity noise. I should have waited longer to have sex. If I do everything someone wants they won’t leave me. The guilt noise became almost deafening when my mother passed away. I should have been nicer to her. I should have spent more time with her even though we fought a lot. I should have been the one she called that awful day. Finally after 100 years the noise subsided some and I was able to enjoy my life as best I could with the motherless daughter label.

Then the fear noise picked up when my children were born. The things you fear happening to them are so completely random it’s a wonder you ever let them out of your sight for a second! I had to learn to ignore that noise or I would go insane with irrational fears.

And now suddenly the guilt, fear, and heaviness of the past noise are competing to be the loudest, and it’s not a pleasant sound. Guilt about how I feel, guilt that I will have to hurt people to make myself happy. Fear of the unknown and making a significant life change, fear of people’s reactions, and fear of rejection for loving who I love.

I have been married for almost 20 years. He was not like the man who helped my mother have me, or my first love, or my first husband, who all rejected me because I wasn’t enough for them. He offered me a stable love. Of course at the time I didn’t think of it like that, I loved him and we had fun and it was nice to know he wouldn’t leave me for another woman. I was happy enough. I thought this was the feel of normal relationships.

But then I began to feel like something was missing. That stable was becoming dull. Long before I ever knew My Girl existed I felt like we had stopped trying to romance each other, and had settled into the life of married with children. There were less moments of affection, less moments of fun, less moments of everything. I tried to express how I felt saddened by this but never felt like I was heard or understood. So eventually I just smooshed my feelings because it didn’t hurt as much that way.

I also began to put his wants and needs as well as my children’s in front of my own. If they were unhappy it must be my fault. I felt guilty if my actions caused them to be upset, or if I was not fully enjoying my time with them because I was sad or angry or just “off” from myself. Because my mother passed away, I do not want to celebrate Mother’s Day because it is a very painful reminder of what I no longer have that everyone around me does. But because I am a mother, it isn’t “fair” to my children so I allow a fuss to be made over me because I feel guilty for telling my children no, I don’t want to celebrate. One year I said I absolutely wanted to be left alone, to be “allowed” to do whatever I want by myself. And I went shopping, and putzed around the house trying to enjoy my books and crafts, and I was miserable because I felt like I should be with my children. Why did I feel guilty about something I needed to make myself feel better? If I feel better am I not a better mother? I was so worried about them being upset that I neglected myself and ultimately felt worse.

And now I have reached a point in my life where I am tired of feeling like I can’t or shouldn’t express my feelings, that I am not attractive or desirable enough, that I am the reason why things are different, that I need to do what everyone else wants when they want even if I don’t want to…..I need to start taking care of me for once and not care what anyone thinks. Yet I feel guilty thinking like this!

The last few months I have done a lot of soul searching, praying and alternating between crying and raging. I have decided I want a divorce because I feel as if my husband is my roommate. I feel like I am withering away without intimacy and affection. I have tried to express my feelings but am told I know he loves me, it’s the way he is and I am brushed off. I am tired of having to ask for what I need, and I am not happy with stable anymore. Yet I felt guilty because this will hurt him! I have been hurting for years, and stuffing my feelings down because I want to do the right thing for him. HIM! Why is it so difficult for me to just act like a man and do what I want without worrying about the consequences? Why is it so difficult for me to do the right thing for me, when I am the one I am living my life for? And then suddenly, I decided I can’t worry about it anymore, but needed to start listening to myself again, and loving myself enough to put myself first.

It will be hard to tell him. But as I found out when my mother passed away suddenly, life is incredibly short, and the only person who can truly take care of me is me. I need to do what is right for me to find my happiness, even if that is not what everyone else thinks I should do, even if it hurts people. I have enough noise in my mind, I don’t need to listen to the society noise too.  If that upsets anyone, I’m sorry but it just doesn’t work for me anymore to consider you first. I can’t keep hurting myself to protect you.

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